Bioavailability: The Secret On Efficient Absorption Of Nutrients

What is Bioavailability? - How it Applies to Supplements
Nutritional scientist Andy Kester gives an easy to understand explanation of bioavailability. Learn what bioavailability is, how it applies to food and supplements, and what Ubiotic Health means when they say "formulated for optimal absorption."
Photo : Ubiotic Health / Youtube

Bioavailability is the quantity of a nutrient the human body can absorb and use. You might think that when you eat an apple every iota of vitamin A, every antioxidant, and every mineral it holds is used by your body with total efficacy, but that's not just the case.

Bioavailability And Nutrient Absorption In The Body

Before the body can breakdown the food as nutrient, it must separate that nutrient from the food it's contained within. This procedure begins in the mouth while chewing and is assisted by the enzymatic action of saliva. It continues in the digestive system where food is broke-down into macronutrients and micronutrients. Nutrients are fascinated by the intestinal lining, moved into the bloodstream, and distributed for use or storage.

Macronutrients vs. Micronutrients

Nutrients can be split up into two basic categories-macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients include carbohydrates, proteins, and dietary fats. They're required in large quantities and necessary for tissue growth repair and providing the body with energy. Macronutrients are highly bioavailable and may be up to 90% utilized.

Micronutrients include vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and certain phytochemicals; examples include iron, iodine, vitamin A, and folate. The bioavailability of micronutrients varies widely. However, the body only needs them in trace amounts, they're critical. Enzymes and hormones are accountable for the body's most important processes. Imagine the negative health effects if micronutrients weren't available to ease enzyme or hormone production.

Factors That Affect Bioavailability

Nutrient bioavailability may vary from one person to the next. Two different people can consume the exact nutrient in the exact the same form yet their bodies may absorb and use differently of that nutrient. There are a multitude of factors that influence individual absorption. Lacking vitamin B-12, if a person lacks essential factor, like protein in the gut that helps the body absorb and use vitamin B-12, the vitamin will simply pass right through. Other issues that disturb bioavailability consist of...

Digestive Disorders

Because bioavailability is heavily reliant on upon the digestive process, a digestive system operating at less than optimal effectiveness may not be, and perhaps isn't, able to fully digest and use all the nutrients it encounters. Nutrients in food may be absorbed at a rate as low as 20% or as high as 98%. Crohn's, IBS, and other seditious bowel conditions can severely impact the body's ability to capture nutrients.


Age is among the most powerful factors that affect bioavailability. Regrettably, at least half of the children wide-reaching age 6 months to 5 years suffer from micronutrient deficiencies. Without the right micronutrients in the right quantities, development can be affected and early infancy (0-6 months) and childhood (6-24 months) are two of the most dangerous periods of development. It's one more reason to encourage breastfeeding; human breast milk is unsurprisingly rich in bioavailable nutrients.

Why Is Bioavailability Important?

Bioavailability has an expressly big impact on cellular metabolism. Your body has an innumerable number of cells and each of the cells is a living, breathing, and functional organism with a metabolism and a purpose. Red blood cells have a different purpose than lung cells, which have a different job than brain cells. With those cells have in common, however, is that they need the right nutrients to do their job.

Real Nutrition vs. Synthetic Nutrients

Whole, real, organic food is the best source of nutrition. A correctly balanced and healthy diet should provide all the macronutrients and micronutrients the body requires. It sounds simple but it will require planning and won't happen by accident. Occasionally, life dictates and rigorous adherence to a balanced diet isn't completely achievable always. While they're not a replacement for food, nutritional supplements can help fill the gap between the nutrients you consume and the nutrients your body needs.

The Secret To Health

To learn more about educating a clean, healthy body, check out The Secret to Health. Recorded live in Houston, it's my seminar that teaches the status of complete nutrition and how regularly purging your body can help you get the most nutritional worth from your food.

Nutrient bioavailability is an imperative topic. If you have an experience that will add to the discussion, share your story with us, leave a comment below.

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